Published: 04 Mar 2020 | Last Updated: 09 Aug 2023 12:30:55

The RVC has been ranked as the top veterinary school in the UK and Europe, and the world’s number two veterinary school in the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2020.

The QS World University Rankings 2020 features 1,368 institutions from 83 locations ranked across 48 subjects, providing the most comprehensive global overview of higher education performance at discipline level. QS assessed 1,496 programs across the world that offer courses in Veterinary Science, with the RVC placing second out of 427 institutions.

The rankings are determined by a range of criteria, such as academic reputation, research impact and number of citations, as well as employer reputation per subject. Responses from over 94,000 academics and 45,000 global employers were used to calculate the results. Notably, the RVC received a perfect score for the Academic Reputation indicator (100) and the University’s outstanding contributions to research was recognised in a high Citations per Paper metric (98.4) which evaluates research impact.

Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the RVC, said: “Trading 1st and 2nd places with our friends at UC Davis globally, we are still very pleased to retain our ranking as highest placed veterinary school outside the USA. With a strong showing from schools in continental Europe and other newcomers to the top 10, the QS rankings emphasise once again the highly competitive nature of our subject internationally. We are pleased to record the highest score for academic reputation and an excellent performance in our research impact, and  I congratulate Dean Lairmore - himself an honorary Fellow of the RVC - and his colleagues at UC Davis on regaining the top spot but serve notice that we will be seeking to trade again in 2021!”

Established in 1791 and based in London and Hertfordshire, the RVC is the oldest veterinary school in the English-speaking world. The RVC was the first veterinary school in the world to be fully accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), and Australian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC), which allows graduates to practice as veterinary surgeons, researchers and scientists across the world.

The RVC has world-renowned veterinary medicine and nursing degrees, which it delivers at undergraduate and postgraduate level. As well as these courses, the RVC has a well-established biological sciences programme, which is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. This course complements the institution’s veterinary remit and is underpinned by an intensive research portfolio – which has previously been judged as the best in England by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

The full set of rankings can be found at

Notes to Editors

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London. It was the first in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.
  • The RVC is the top veterinary school in the UK and Europe, and ranked as the world’s second highest veterinary school in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2020.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research led institution with 79% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

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